As I’ve said before, fall is my favorite season. Beautiful leaves are falling, gigantic local apples are showing up at the grocery store, there’s a crisp chill in the air, and best of all I get to do fall baking! September is usually my apple-baking month, and in October it’s all about pumpkin. Unfortunately, ever since reading an article about a possible pumpkin shortage last year, I’ve become just a little paranoid that one of these autumns, my grocery store will run out of canned pumpkin. Being a completely devoted holiday/seasonal person, this would be as atrocious an ordeal as the time I ordered Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on Netflix and it didn’t come until after New Year’s. I still haven’t fully recovered from that one, and now I put all of my favorite Christmas movies on the Netflix queue well before Thanksgiving! Yes, I have issues….
Anyway, around mid-September I gave in to my paranoia and start stocking up on canned pumpkin. It usually just hangs out in my cupboard until early October, but this year I just couldn’t wait. It was begging to be baked into something delicious, and who was I to say no? I decided to do a little experimenting, and created these Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Bars, which are basically everything wonderful about fall baked into a bar. They’ve got pumpkin, brown sugar, warm spices, and a crinkly cinnamon-sugar topping. Also, these bars are quick to make, easy to transport, and yield quite a few, so I’m thinking they’d be perfect to bring to a larger gathering or Halloween party. On the other hand, you could just hoard all the bars and eat them yourself. I promise I won’t judge if you decide to go that route!
Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Bars
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbs granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, pumpkin puree, and brown sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating until well-combined. Beat in the vanilla. Gradually add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.
Spread the mixture into the prepared pan (batter will be thick). In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon and evenly sprinkle over the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is set and edges are golden-brown. Let cool completely before cutting into bars.
Yield: 24-36 bars (depending on how large you cut them)